Meditation has become a fundamental part of my life, and a fundamental part of my healing and growth. Part of what I love about meditation, wholeness, awareness, etc. . . is the emphasis on allowing for things to come and go. So much of my life’s emphasis has been on forcing a behavior to achieve a desired outcome. It has been a steep learning curve to allow for life to unfold around me. Steep, but immensely rewarding.
I believe that this is faith in action. Life will continue and things will happen regardless of how much I try and force it otherwise, or stress about it. I can do what I choose to encourage a result that I desire, but my actions in no way guarantee a result. This is where meditation comes into play. I spend far too much of my time fretting away my present in worry over the future. It takes much relaxing and letting go of the fierce control of my mind to actually be and take part in the present.
I love love love meditation. Some days I love it more than others, but I just acknowledge that fact and move on. No judgment, no condemnation. Beautiful.
In this spirit, I want to share with you a simple meditation that came from a local yoga studio today. It’s nothing original, but its beauty is in the simplicity. (you know, the easiness of the way? all you have to do is look? ) Give it a shot if you are so inclined. Let me know what results.
Cultivating Gratitude: As thanksgiving approaches, try to carve out a few extra minutes in your day, perhaps upon waking, or before hopping into bed at night, for this short exercise. Sit or lay in a comfortable position, and tune into your breath. Try to identify 6 things (person, place, or thing) that you are grateful for in this moment. We all have those wonderful “go-to” things we are constantly aware that we are thankful for… But in this instance, try to narrow down your thoughts to those special and unique things you are thankful for in this one specific day. (perhaps it is as simple as the sunlight on your face, a breeze through the trees, or a delicious bite of fruit you ate today) If it has been a good day, this might feel very easy to do. If it has been a difficult day, this will serve to bring you into a better place by focusing on your blessings. Once you have the list made, repeat a silent mantra as you breathe in: “I am grateful for ______,” and the number “1” as you breathe out. Repeat this for each of the things on your list, followed by their number (Do not worry about the order; this does not indicate that any one is any more important than the others, it is simply an exercise.) Then, if you have time to remain for a few more minutes, return to the first item on your list. Hold it in your mind, be with it, and simply observe. You might notice if your breath, body, or heart respond in any particular way. After you have taken several breaths with your first item, move to the next one, and so on for all items on your list.